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Hanamushi: Pock's Friend


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Rating: 4.7/5 (49 votes)
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HanamushiI just now stumbled upon Enu's gorgeous Japanese website, Hanamushi, and discovered his beautiful artwork and even a couple of Flash point-and-click adventures. Simply amazing. And yet there is a dark side to the shapes that lurk in the shadows, so watch where you step..

Most of the site is in Japanese, so if you have a hard time finding your way around, be sure to see Wheat Straw Girl and especially the combination picture book and adventure game, Pock's Friend. Just click through the text to get to the game.

Enu (Akira Noyama) says his favorite game is ICO, and he even has a page of artwork that was inspired by Nintendo games.

Strange, disturbing and beautiful.

Play Pock's Friend

With thanks to Maiko for translating "Pock's Friend" and parts of the story in the comments. =)

Update: Be sure to read our review of an all-new interactive experience from Hanamushi: Flower Insects.

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110 Comments

ok after i clicked on the star, then someone drops a bag into the chimney....im stuck after that, any hints?

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Awesome link.

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I think I just got eaten by a tree.

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His characters are so disturbing, they honestly freak me out. I love it! Reminds me a bit of Clive Barker's artwork (such as in the Abarat), yet animated and interactive. What a fantastic site.

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What are you supposed to do with the open flowers, butterflies, and the walking man? I tried shaking the flowers at different times when the man is walking by but nothing happens.

Thanks! I always enjoy your site.

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Oops, never mind.
I had the sound off on the speaker (but not on PC). Yes, it's tough having to share a pc with one other pesrson. :)

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Youkerie July 6, 2005 12:25 PM

^.^ its loading...to bad i cant understand it...hmm well i bet its a really good game... o.o tho i know im going to need a lot of help...

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Youkerie July 6, 2005 12:52 PM

o.o i need help at the apple part...i think i have to do something with the birds...but i dont know what...could i please have help?

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I speak Japanese so I can tell you a little about it (it's too long to translate word by word!).

The boy with a hat is name "Pocku". He was a loner with something missing from his heart. He never felt happy or sad, had no friends, and just lived alone doing nothing, feeling nothing. He just lived in a daze.

... After being enveloped by the bright white light, there came a boy with horns named "Tum". Tum knew Pocku's name, introduced himself, and said that they'll be together for a while. Pocku did not know how Tum knew his name but Tum said he knew because they were friends. Having never wanted or had a friend, Pocku walked away, "I don't need or want a friend". Tum, surprised, yelled at him to wait up. That's how the story began.

I don't want to spoil the fun so I won't say anymore. Let me know if someone wants to know what it says at the end. It's subtle yet full of meaning. It may be a little difficult to comprehend the intended message without knowing the language. If I could finish it without help, anyone could do it. The texts enhance the story but has no bearing on the game play.

One piece of advice: Make sure you play with the sound on. (Don't do what I did.)

My favorite phrase of the day: You are your own enemy.

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Awesome, Maiko! Thank you kindly!! =)

I knew the story had something to do with "friends" but there was too much to figure out. I was hoping that someone might offer a translation of parts of it, so I appreciate that very much.

Can you please translate the name of the piece for me, too?

The phrase reminds me of a similar one that my mom uses: You can't protect people from themselves.

cheers!

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Youkerie - the tree is too tall to grab an apple. Perhaps there is something nearby to stand on?

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I just beat it. AWESOME GRAPHICS! But I think the end would have made more sense if it was in english...

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Hi Jay,
The name of this piece is very simple: "Pokku's Friend". (I changed the spelling because it's more true to the Japanese spelling. 'Pocku' was to help others pronounce it. Anyway, you can use whichever one you prefer.)

***may be a spoler***
Below talks about the storyline, but not necessarily about the game strategy. Hopefully, the translation gives the players a little more understanding about the game.

****************************************

The phrase, "you're your own enemy", is to help you figure out what's going on at the end. ;) The last monster symbolizes him opening his heart and fighting one's own demon or darkness. As Pokku tries to go after Tum, his demon stops him and continues to yell that he does not need any friends, thus the fight between the boy and the monster.

It's a very nice story about a boy who starts to open up his heart to someone else.

Taking the hat off is also a symbolism for coming out of the shell. Then Tum says, "You look better this way". Pokku replies, "Thanks". It doesn't sound very exciting, but it's meaningful to the story.

Although the graphic seems very European, there is a definite hint of Japanese culture such as the roasting of the sweet potatoe (sp?) on fire made of fallen leaves.

********************************************

I finally figured out the link to the wheat straw girl. I'm going to play now!

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how do you get past the fool wizard with wings?

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Chowlett July 6, 2005 7:36 PM

Got through Pokku's Friend without too much trouble, but the Wheat Straw Girl is giving me trouble.

I keep turning the tree/house thing into a monster and getting eaten by it; then there doesn't seem to be anything left to click. Anyone got any further?

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I think that's it, Chowlett.

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how do you beat the wizard thing? I've been at this for like, 10 minutes haha

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EvilHayama July 7, 2005 1:28 AM

The wizard thing is all about timing, think Zelda vs Ganon :)

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Repel the shots. Wait for the shots, if you click too soon, you'll get hit.

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I'm getting a 403 error whenever I click the links...

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Awesome game...the language didn't stop me ( it can be my motto since I came to the USA 22 years ago from Italy). I beat the game after may be one hour of play..the toughest part being the fight with the monster at the end...yes timing is crucial...right before the monster/dragon throws a fire ball click Pokku red heart and that retorts his fireball back to the monster.If you keep on clicking as soon as it comes back ( 3 times in a row seems to do the trick) you defeat the monster and Pokku can save his friend. Nice universal message about friendship...e-mail me if you want to know more...ciao

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I seem to have the same problem as blue...

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It seems the attention to Hanamushi-san's site has overwhelmed the server and it is now spitting out 403 forbidden errors for all of the author's pages. I expect we will see his site resurface soon, and be assured that I will update this entry when it does.

In the meantime, if anyone can get to Hanamushi's site please let me know.

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Zengief July 8, 2005 11:30 AM

The link is working again.

Just out of curiosity, do you have any idea how much traffic your page directs to these game sites?

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Zengief - thanks for the alert. I will update the entry for it.

And to your question, I don't really have any way of measuring that. What I do know is that there are several sites that watch what I post here, and there are visitors here that take what I post and either suggest it to other sites or post it themselves. I will often see my descriptions show up on other sites, word for word, as I have written them.

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i cant get past after you bake the sweet potato and feed it to the tree and make the snowman taller what next?

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I'm at the same part as kman. Help?

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ok having trouble with the ending battle.. I understand what to do but it seems like when the black thing comes back to me, my red thing isn't there for me to click. it seems like it's lagging or something.. does anyone else have this problem?

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I dont seem to be able to get any wheres in the Straw Wheat Girl, Either I'm incredibly stupid or its not working...But when I click on the wheaty strawish thing it just shakes and I dont see anything else to click....

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kman - check the lamp posts

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Is the wheat straw girl thing a joke? i try it over and over and click everything and i always get eaten by the house

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Mike - I think that's the point. =)

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I am at the demon/witch thing i Repel his first shot but cant repel the second what am i doing wrong??? been at this for an hour now !!!

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I've climbed the snowman to the top but I'm stuck, any clues please?

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James- clicked the star yet? :]

ah, finally beat it! It kinda took a while but i guess it was fun lol I like the artwork..except some of it seems a bit..odd/scary

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SittHakim July 17, 2005 6:57 PM

Wow, I feel very frustrated and not smart. I can't seem to figure out what to do next in Pokku's Friend. I am stuck at the beginning of the action with Pokku, his friend, the flowers that move after being landed on by the butterfly, and the pacing man. I can get Pokku and his friend to do a few little moves. The pacing man makes a noise that I can't understand. But... that's it! Any help out there?

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i NEED help on wheat straw girl!!!!! i beat pocku's friend with no problem at all,not even a hint! but now on wheat straw girl all i do is get eaten by a tree! help? please!?

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Kynikos July 25, 2005 7:55 AM

This is beautiful. I am awed by this. It reminds me of Yoshi's Island's style, but even better.

Although, I am stuck on the aprt after you climb the elongated snowman. Kuro, I don't see a star, even when I tab-cheat.

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.........prettymuch a spoiler.......

have you finished the puzzles in the lamps yet? if so,go back in front of the house and click the yellow star. then there should be a sack with a rainbow star that u get. go back up the snowman and the star will turn into a rainbow which you climb up.

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Ok, i have constructed the snowman bridge. and started that little bonfire thing. now i am lost as to what i need to finish my path. i saw someone mention a star, but there are no stars in the area.

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Andrea :) August 6, 2005 7:38 PM

So for wheat straw girl, there is no other ending except for getting eatten by a house? Man, thats scary.

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err.. i feel stupid, but how do you kill the monster?

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His nintendo fanart stuff is so cool, i love the ico games, and zelda. He's mixed both of these games and some of his own style to create this.

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I must say, the only flaw are the occasional reloads for the next part of the game, but that doesn't take any of the game's greatness away

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excuse me jay or somebody else, could you please tell me what to do after you put the snowmans face together and get to the rock? i have no idea what to do now. please help -MANAX

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ok i think i got it, the last lamp post thing looks like a creature sneezing out another creature and what exactly is the little girl doing with her hand in the third one... thats just plain wrong... anyways now i got some star thingy

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Manax - look up several comments to what anna banana wrote. I think that's your answer.

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I beat the game but i just wanna know if ANYONE knows what the water melons were for before you enter the cave cuz it seemed like it was either a waist of clicking or i just didnt find out what they do.

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christine August 18, 2005 6:17 PM

Pokku is just such an achingly beautiful game that hits me right in the good-and-evil spot. I have to admit I like the fact that the puzzles are pretty logical and not that hard.

On the battle-Pokkus-evil-self part... have the sound on. When it crows, that's the time to hit Pokku's red spot. Hit it a 2nd time as soon as you get your pointer back and that will bounce the black fireball back at the nasty, though it won't let you do it a 3rd time you will have caused damage... go through this 2 more times and love will triumph....leaving ink all over the place...

As for the rest of the games, this guy Hanamushi has got creepy *down* I found his flash stuff more disturbing than Ex Mortis...

Truly enjoyable, Jay. Thanks!

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Is Hanamushi loading for anyone else? I love this game and I have played it before, but I came back to play it again, and the game isn't working for me. Neither is the website. :(

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Grace - I think the problem is with the size of the files that make up Hanamushi's site. My guess is that he has had to limit who is able to properly access his site.

So, I did some poking around and was able to determine that the total size of just the Pokku's Friend game is 27.5MB! That's *huge* in terms of bandwidth, especially with hundreds, and possibly thousands, of people hitting it each day.

Since moving my site to its own domain and having to pay for its bandwidth, I am much more keen to the issues regarding bandwidth and the relative size of the files that comprise a website.

I am considering mirroring Pokku's Friend on my own server, since the game is absolutely beautiful and I would love to share it with visitors here. But I will not make an announcement about it to protect my own bandwidth. You'll just have to check back and try the links. =)

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i know i sound a bit sad but im stuck at the beginning where ive climed up the big flower and the big bear come out and blows bubbles out of his nose while he sleeps. i have no idea what to do now.
ANYHELP!!!!

from
morgan

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forget that last comment ive got it now!!!
silly me!

from
morgan

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Morgan, I'm curious as to how you are getting the game to load? Which link did you click?

It's still not working for me. =(

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uhhh yeah i cant beat the evil dude. i reflected the shots twice and i keep doing that, but he's not getting beat....anyone got any tips? it'd help out! great game jay. .... i'd love to see a longer more involved version of this game. artwork is great.

-tim

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Can someone give me a walkthrough.This game is very difficult.

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i cant get past the snow man bridge i cant find a star and i fed the beat rock thing to the tree guy and now what do i do plz help

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James - check out the lamp posts. Each one holds a puzzle you must solve to light it. Once all are lit, the star will appear.

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browsing through the archives -- i had missed this one. extremely disturbing, and beautiful. i don't know what i'd do without your site jay, you always find the most compelling, beautiful and inspiring things for us.

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can anyone translate the story at the end. Does he learn to have friends or something suitably moral?

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Absolutely the most artistically innovative interactive I've seen.

Amazing how the images are both disturbing and compelling.

And I got it using only 2 hints here :) I think that's a first for me.

Very cool!

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Um i fell so stupid...on Pokku's friend i have opened the lock with the key that was in the flower,and a sort of puzzle came up when i cliked the object that was inside.I dont know what to do!!!!I have tried EVERYTHING!!!!

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Oh my gosh... thank you Jay... that is the most compassionate game i have ever played... so... emotional... so breathtaking... so... awesome. This should inspire all of you; it inspired me. Showed me the true meaning of friendship... wow...

Please forgive me if the spoiler tag didn't work; i'm new at this. TY ^^. click on the big pinecone. Then, when the butterfly appears and the flowers bloom, click on the butterfly and watch what flowers it goes to, then click the flowers IN THAT ORDER.
After that, the last flower will bloom and you will get the key. Go to next scene (to the right), and open the box on the wall. Solve the overly easy puzzle and climb up the plant. Click on the cave twice, so the bear comes out, and then climb back down the flower and go back to the butterfly scene. Your friend will pick up an egg. Climb back up to the cave and crack the egg open by clicking it alot. Then, the bear will get mad. Click on your friend and you will fall on the bear, and he will chuck you upwards. I don't remeber, but I think your ffriend will follow. Click on the apples in the tree, then click your friend. He will try to reach them, then go for the rock. Go help your friend push the rock to the tree. Then you use your friend as a booster, and climb the tree. I think there is a cutscene, but eventually the tree spits your friend out and then your friend falls off and you click him. Then there is an emotional cutscene (for me), and the screen goes white. DO NOT EXIT!!!! THE GAME IS MERELY LOADING!!! It will do this several times throughout the game. After that, I forget what happens... I think you're at a cave... that's all I can remember, I played it days ago and then this site stopped working for me. :( But anyway, that game was so great... I cried at the end... I hope i was some help... ^^

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Pure Murder February 25, 2006 12:18 AM

i hate my stupid comp. it's takin so freakin long to load the freakin game!! ticked off here

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How to beat to deamon/wizard/winged thingy

to beat it you have to click to red light just before he shoots the black thing, on the second shot repeat but when he reflects you have to click the red light again just befor he hits it back at you to keep the red thing up, on the thired shot do the some but three times

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Um.. Doesn't work in Safari or Firefox. I just get a white square on a black background but no game :(

I run a mac with OS tiger (10.4...)

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The site seems fine now and even has a english translation.

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globiaeon April 24, 2006 10:47 PM

i think we should also thank the creator of this wonderful game.
His art is gorgeous!

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Dustfinger July 12, 2006 6:57 PM

haha that was really fun, and pretty easy to figure out. The graphics were awesome and it was really fun. It was really fun. I am the really fun robot. really fun really fun really fun really fun, LOl! Haha and im listening to the numa song while posting this :)

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I am stuck in front of the house (the scene shown on this page).
Can anyone help me?

I have picked up the pink shell thing and dropped it in the leaves, but nothing else to click on.
The snowman only changes his face (which is entertaining).

Help!!

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Dammmn this is too easy..
i won already just defeat the boss

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:( Can someone please help me, I can't find the star.

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Why did the two characters kiss at the end?! Pretty weird...

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It's called "friendship" and there's nothing weird about it.

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Anthony Allen February 17, 2007 6:52 PM

The pictures on the lamp puzzles are probably the must disturbing images in this game

That aside, it's very reminiscent of the Samarost game in the way of the art work

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Wow this game had everything i loved

from click adventure to surreal!

The story was wonderfull (thanks to the wonderfull Maiko)

However i would love to know the ending ;) Email me x

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I think they made an english version now. It makes much sense in english, but it looks kinda like they translated it directly.

Nonetheless, it's a very cute (due to lack of better word) game. Very easy and friendly.

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help me! i dont know what link to click when it has the advertising after the guy is falling off the pine cone!
please help me someone, if i cant get on With the game soon i will go mad!!
=(

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I'm also facing troubles after the cone pine part...
the page is getting blank BUT a yahoo.jp page open and stay there...I cannot continue and I already tried three time to play the whole first part without being able to cotinue ....
Does anyone know what to do ?
Thanks
(I'm playing on the english version with safari)

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The same thing is happening to me, Kamineko. I'll play all the way to the hand grab after Tum falls, but then I go to a yahoo.jp page with adverts that just stays there and does nothing. Is there some sort of problem with the site or game? I really want to finish it!

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With what link are you experiencing the trouble?

The normal ones linked within the review and the image above? Or the mirror links listed below the review?

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I'm having trouble with the normal links within the review and picture. I haven't tried the mirror links though...

- hrose21 (hannah)

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AlGrythim November 7, 2007 5:15 PM

The link goes to the Japanese version, but there is an English one now.

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AlGrythim November 7, 2007 5:17 PM

But the translation is on par with Zero Wing.
(better actually, but still fun.)

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Matt Weiner November 30, 2007 9:23 AM

Shadow, your recipe for beating the demon/wizard just doesn't work for me.

After the first go, when I reflect the black thing back at the demon I never get the chance to click my red thing again. I've spent at least ten minutes on it.

I don't know if this is a browser issue (I'm using Firefox on a Mac), or if it's just that my reflexes and timing aren't fast enough, but it's INCREDIBLY disappointing to play through a whole adventure game just to have to quit before I reach the ending, because of a stupid timing-based issue. The last challenge shouldn't require such intricate timing. This game was ruined for me.

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Matt Weiner, compleatly the same. Very disappointing. Does someone really still can help with this monster or not?

By the way samorost I think is much better. Visually and graphically, I say it like an artist.

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shayler and Kamineko - I had the same problem with the English translated version, got redirected to a Yahoo page in Japanese after Tum falls off the pine cone and Pock grabs his hand. I ran the text through Google Translate and got this:

"Page Not Found

Currently access to the pages of the current Yahoo! JIOSHITIZU missing or in the URL is incorrect."

So I'm guessing the English version isn't complete.

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What a sweet gorgeous game! I'm so proud of myself -- the only hint I needed was to beat the baddie. Does anyone have the English translations or the story since the English version of the game is incomplete?

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I'd like to know a little more about what is written at the end!
BTW, click on the snowman by the lightposts. Nothing to progress the story, just funny.

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hmmm...seems to stick at 5% for me...

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Ah... no matter how many times I hit that darn monster, it just won't die =(

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It took me ages to win in the battle. I finally won when

I waited a second or so before I did the second click on his heart.

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A wonderful presentation. The story is great for kids of all ages. The colors and textures of the graphics are outstanding.

Although the English version isn't completed yet, it was easy to follow the logic for the rest of the game in the Japanese version.

Excellent Hanamushi-san!

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The Straw Hat one was a bit creepy, but I love the style. :3
I had a lot of fun playing Pock's Friend. I loved the characters and how in the end Pock opens up a bit.
However, I got an error after

You save the friend (Sorry, I forgot his name... e.e;) from falling.

I saw other comments and heard there's more after that, but I just got an error page on this japanese yahoo page... I guess I just have to wait a bit and try again. ^^;

The kung fu bear's eyes made me jump a bit, but when I saw him own the bird, I burst out laughing. x'D

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Skull Face72 Author Profile Page July 16, 2009 9:09 PM

I am... quite scared now.

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vy nguyen November 8, 2009 7:56 PM

after the dramatic moment when he reaches out to the pink guys hand, the page goes to a japanese yahoo thing and i cant play anymore o_O

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not bothered signing in January 19, 2010 7:31 PM

ohkay...i know i might sound not-so-smart

but how do you actually start the game?

i'm jsut stuck on an interactive page with a number of characters and links to different stuff...how do you start the game?

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I am having issues with wheat straw girl.

I have clicked on the seed thing and the tree/house pops up, but then I can't find anywhere to click.

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can anyone help me with the lamp post puzzle? I am completely stumped. Thank you.

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If anyone gets really frustrated by the 'Wizard' Boss at the end of the game, just
'Right' click and left click 'Forward' with your mouse and then hit 'Play'.

The fight will be over, you will be victorious! You will then be able to see the remaining part of the game to the end credits. ;-D

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You have to link to Flower Insects as well, not everyone has seen it.

[Thanks for the reminder. I'll update the review. -Jay]

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Chiktionary Author Profile Page July 30, 2010 9:34 PM

I'm browsing through the Best of 05 archives. I'm having the same issue that Not Bothered Signing In had back in January. I just get an interactive page with no apparent links to puzzles or games. Am I missing something?

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Chiktionary Author Profile Page July 30, 2010 9:41 PM

Ah never mind - just needed to click on different links in the review. If you happen to read this "Not Bothered", try the other links in the review.
Life's not easy when you're blonde...

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Chiktionary Author Profile Page July 30, 2010 9:43 PM

Thanks Jay :)

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LaraSkadi Author Profile Page July 6, 2012 3:54 AM

Oh, my, it's really frustrating.. I'm stuck in the lamppost puzzle and I can't either find more than 2 differences in the images or leave to do something else in the game. The image is of some devil, 2 girls and a guy smoking a pipe (I don't remember which lamp).
The worst is that the last person to comment on the game did it about a year ago and all walkthroughs I find just say "find the difference" TT_TT

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LaraSkadi Author Profile Page July 6, 2012 4:16 AM

I no longer need help on the lamps puzzle.

Thank God I found out about the TAB cheat XD

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The only thing that would make this better would be a voice narration by a Japanese woman, slowly speaking heavily accented English.

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Hmm, I can't seem to do anything in Wheat Straw Girl aside from clicking the hat. All it does is shake a bit and nothing happens.

Alternately, I agree with johan

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